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April 20, 2022
View: 274


An easterly drive on Long Island’s Route 25A reveals an opening in the foliage just over the Nassau-Suffolk County line on the left side and a splotch of water known as “Cold Spring Harbor.” That water, of both the fresh and salt types, defined it, sustained it, and became its raison d’etre.

“Water is the defining characteristic of the place now called Cold Spring Harbor,” according to Robert G. Hughes in his Images of America: Cold Spring Harbor book (Acadia Publishing, 2014, p. 7). “To the indigenous inhabitants, it was known as Wawapex, or ‘at the good little water place.’ The European settlers of the 17th century named the area after its abundance of freshwater springs.”

Like a mirror, that water reflects its changing color and character as it does—slate gray on cloudy days, cobalt blue on clear ones, and orange and reds near its shores on autumn ones. It also reflects its history. It served as a draw and became the means to sustain the lives of those who settled there.

Only a few hundred yards beyond this view, the road arcs to the left and threads its way through the hamlet, which is very small. But so, too, are gens. This one sparkles through its harbor and exudes its history through its nature, museums, and restored buildings. It is a living example of how its purpose has evolved as a result of time, transportation, and technology. And a day spent here will demonstrate that.

Cold Spring Harbor History:

Located on Long Island’s North Shore-specifically on the western edge of what was once Huntington’s 1653 First Purchase-Cold Spring Harbor arose because of its water artery, providing the many means by which it developed over the next three centuries.

Power, the initial one, turned the mills that cut the locally grown trees, supplied the wood to construct farms, and ground the grain they grew, all made possible by the dam across from the Cold Spring River that John Adams erected in 1682. Aside from these saw and grist mills, there were also those that wove and created paper.

“Dams at the edge of large ponds and lakes generated power to run grist, saw, paper, and woolen mills where local grain, trees, and wool were transformed into food, logs, paper, barrels, and woven materials, such as broadcloths, blankets, and coverlets,” according to the CSHFHM News: The Newsletter of the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum (Winter 2015).

Water also positioned Cold Spring Harbor as a delivery port, its next significant role, when an Act of Congress appointed a surveyor of customs on March 2, 1799. He was entrusted with the “power to enroll and license vessels to be employed in the coasting trade and fisheries and to enter and clear, and grant registers and other usual papers, to vessels employed in the whale fisheries.”

Devoid of any appreciable land-based infrastructure, the country relied on rivers and seas for passenger and cargo transport during this time. In the case of Cold Spring Harbor, water served as its channel for schooners to deliver rice, coffee, sugar, wood, coal, sand, and gravel to New York City and destinations beyond, specifically those along the East Coast and as far as the West Indies in the Caribbean. The integral role Cold Spring Harbor played in coastal trading is reflected by the 99 ships registered there in 1883.

And its waters became the threshold to the whaling ships that sailed even further afield.

“From 1836 to 1862, nine ships sailed from Cold Spring Harbor, all on voyages lasting up to two years,” according to Hughes (op. cit., p.8). “Wool from the local mills, barrels from Bungtown, produce and meat from local farms, and other local products were used to outfit the ships for their months-long journeys to as far away as Alaska.”

Although the discovery pf petroleum in Pennsylvania soon obviated the need for whale oil and its associated products, along with the whaling industry that hunted it, the Long Island hamlet continued its blacksmith, shipyard, and sail-making activities.

But its idyllic, water-side setting gave rise to another of its significant purposes-tourism-during the Gilded Age. Escaping summer heat and seeking leisure-oriented pursuits, they traveled by water-supported steamers from Manhattan and stayed in elegant, multiple-facility resorts, such as the Glenada, Forest Lawn, and the Laurelton for weeks at a time. Water, again, provided swimming, boating, and fishing sports.

Seafood, needless to say, was abundant in the form of oysters, fish, and clams-so much so, in fact, that the latter’s bounty was reflected by the very “Clamtown” designation of the harbor’s east side.

While the grand resorts have since disappeared, its tourist industry, primarily of the day trip type, continues in a compact town which brims with significant sights, colonial shops, and restaurants, and whose entire business district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Cold Spring Harbor’s diverse sights serve as its natural and manmade imprints.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory:

Founded as far back as 1890 when the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences established a field station on Cold Spring Harbor’s western shore so that students could study nature instead of books, the laboratory offered it first course in biology and has since shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, and plant and quantitative biology. It spawned eight Nobel Prize winners.

“(Its) education programs introduce students to the newest ideas, discoveries, and technologies in biology and the life sciences, and allow them to work alongside some of the most innovative scientists in the world in an open, collaborative environment,” according to its website. “We offer programs for children, teachers, college, high school, and graduate students, as well as established scientists.”

For the tourist or day-tripper, 90-minute campus tours are scheduled.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium:

Founded in 1883 by the State of New York and now a nationally recognized historic landmark, the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium took up initial residence in two leased woolen factory buildings at the head of the harbor.

“The fish hatchery was an immediate success,” according to Hughes (op. cit. p. 32). “Its first superintendent, Frederic Mather, introduced brown trout from Germany. Soon, thousands of pounds of fish were being grown and released into local rivers and lakes.”

In 1982, it reinvented itself as a nonprofit environmental education center, aquarium, and working trout hatchery dedicated to increasing the awareness and understanding of the state’s freshwater ecosystems. It contains its largest collection of aquatic reptiles, fish, and amphibians.

Several exhibits enable the visitor to gain greater understanding.

The Fairchild Exhibit Building, for instance, serves as the facility’s entrance, gift shop, and aquarium. In the latter guise, it displays blue spotted sunfish, bowfin, black bullhead, and crayfish, and, in its larger turtle tanks, spotted, bay, snapping, spiny softshell, wood, and northern diamondback types. Its “New York Amphibia” exhibit, featuring frogs and salamanders, is the largest living collection of native amphibians in the northeast.

Outside are trout, warm water, and turtle ponds covered with nets to protect them from hungry heron and osprey attacks.

“The hatchery and aquarium’s turtles and warm water fish are kept in water that originates in St. John’s Pond, located south of the hatchery and east of St. John’s Church,” according to the facility. “This water flow is raw lake water; no processing or filtration is used. The temperature of the water ranges from 34 degrees in the winter to over 80 degrees in the summer. The warm water fish thrive in water which reaches such temperatures.”

Two round, self-cleaning ponds hold brook and rainbow trout that ranges between 1.5 and 2.5 years in age.

Visitors may either feed or altogether catch fish in the Tidal Raceway, whose water empties into Long Island Sound. Bait is available for purchase and there is a per-pound fee for any catch.

The Hatch House and rearing pools, located across from the main facility, serve as the incubation and hatching areas of brook trout eggs that are taken in early November and produce life the following month. After a four-month period, they are moved to the rearing pools themselves, which are considered the intermediate facilities between the Hatch House’s troughs and the larger, outdoor Trout Ponds.

The Walter L. Rose II Aquarium Building, the fish hatchery’s second such indoor display, houses more than 30 different species of freshwater fish native to New York State, such as smallmouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, brown bullhead, chain pickerel, green sunfish, and lake trout. Newly hatched turtles from the outdoor Turtle Pond are also displayed here.

Behind the building is one of the five artesian wells that supply the hatchery with fresh water.

Bungtown School:

A wooden marker behind the fish hatchery faces the upper parking lot of St. John’s Parish, location of the so-called “Bungtown School,” or the first West Side Schoolhouse at the head of Cold Spring Harbor. Built in 1790 and initially measuring 24 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 14.5 feet high, it gained additional notoriety when President George Washington, traveling from Widow Platt’s Tavern in Huntington to Oyster Bay on April 23 of that year, passed through Cold Spring Harbor and observed its construction.

According to the now-legendary story, he stopped, lent a hand in raising one of the rafters, and even left a silver dollar for the workers.

The single-room structure was functional, but hardly opulent: long, wooden benches on either side faced equally-wooden plank desks that were fastened to the wall beneath the windows. Warmth was provided by a large fireplace. Grades varied according to age, which ranged from five to 21 years.

While the curriculum consisted of reading, writing, grammar, spelling, arithmetic, and geography, and employed both slates and copy books, it also included religion. The day, in fact, began with either a prayer or a Bible verse reading after students, who themselves chopped the wood, warmed themselves at the fire.

Increased enrollment soon necessitated increased size-in this case, to 51 feet in length. Aside from education, the school became the breeding ground for those who ultimately entered the whaling industry. The stoppers used to seal the wooden whale oil barrels, or “bungs,” earned it its “Bungtown School” name.

Nevertheless, serving its purpose for more than a century, it was closed in 1884, its last class taking place on December 21 of that year.

St. John’s Episcopal Church:

The Bungtown School briefly served a secondary purpose-namely, as a location for Cold Spring Harbor’s Episcopalian services until the definitive St. John’s Episcopal Church was constructed there in 1835 after area founders had each pledged $2,000 for the project.

Fabricated by means of the post-and-beam method, with hand-hewn timbers fitted with mortise joints and pegs, it featured plastered indoor walls, cedar shingle-sheathed outer ones, and Tiffany stained glass windows. It was consecrated two years later, in April.

In 1950, it was relocated further north and 40 feet east of the landfill. Twelve years later an addition enlarged it.

St. John’s Pond and Nature Sanctuary:

A seemingly oval gem of blue tranquility surrounded by dense greenery and dotted with ducks gliding across its glass surface, St. John’s Pond and Nature Sanctuary, to the side of the church, not only reflects the sky, but almost appears to mirror the souls above it.

Created by the lower dam and surrounded by steep, farming-prohibitive terrain, it features some of Long Island’s oldest woodlands. It is the perfect setting for solitude and communing with nature.

Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center:

Propped above the town with commanding views of the harbor, the imposing, 26,500-square-foot Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center occupies five acres of Cold Spring Harbor State Park and reflects the ever-increasing size of community patrons, now representing some 8,500 local residents.

It traces its origins to 1886, when it stored its book collection in a tenement house. At the turn of the century, the Post Office served this purpose. In 1913, it moved into a brick structure and 73 years later it took up residence in the East Side School. The current rendition opened in 2006.

A carpeted Reading Room, almost resembling a study in a palatial mansion, is located on the left side after entry. Its atmosphere is further completed by its leather easy chairs, marble fireplace, and Stokely Webster’s painting, “Punta della Dogana,” hung above the mantel. A rocking chair-adorned outside terrace offers views of the harbor and its moored boats.

The oil-on-linen “Reflections II: Lloyd Harbor View” painting by Pauline Gore Emmet in the Quiet Room expands the facility’s gallery-feel, but of historic significance here is the wooden plaque that lists the 43 names of those from the two Cold Spring Harbor school districts who fought in the Civil War between 1861 and 1866.

The three-floor library’s other facilities include a Children’s Room, a Storytime Room, a Hands-On Learning Center for Crafts, a Tween area, an Environmental Center, a Local History Room, an Archives Room, and the newly-opened, teen-targeted Underground.

Cold Spring Harbor State Park:

Both part of and next door to the library is Cold Spring Harbor State Park, which, according to its own description, “is comprised of 40 acres of hilly terrain that offer scenic vistas of Cold Spring Harbor. It features a mixed hardwood forest with notable large oak specimens that measure three feet in diameter, as well as thickets of wild mountain laurel.”

Topographically steep, it requires a rigorous climb of dirt and wooden steps to reach and continues up a slope, passing giant tulip trees and mighty oaks that loom over gnarled groves of mountain shrubs before descending to the pond on the other side, offering views of horned owls and red-tailed hawks. Various songbird migrations can be seen during the spring and the fall.

As the northern trailhead of the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Tail, it extends to Bethpage State Park and, eventually, to Long Island’s South Shore.

Along the Waterfront:

The Town of Huntington ramp is located across Main Street (Route 25A) from Cold Spring Harbor State Park. But a walk to it may be met with an olfactory waft of fish-scented air before the water surface and the slowly moving boats rounding the sandspit are actually viewed.

Like floating buoys, they mark the threshold to this North Shore Long Island hamlet. A small parcel of grass serves as the ideal place for a picnic here. Fishing poles protrude from those hoping for the day’s catch and the evening’s dinner.

A walk further into town reveals another harbor-eyes-view, but its tranquility is a sharp contrast to the commemorative cross-of-sorts encountered-a World Trade Center artifact dedicated to the memory of local victims lost during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and erected by the Cold Spring Harbor Fire Department. “All gave some, but some gave all,” it philosophically proclaims.

Closer to the sidewalk is another, but more ancient reminder-an historical marker advising that “Israel Ketchum of Cold Spring Harbor, while jailed for counterfeiting, revealed a plot to assassinate Washington in June of 1776.” Ill-intentions apparently always existed, regardless of how far back they occurred.

Another historical marker, on the corner at the beginning of the town’s c luster of shops and restaurants, reminds of its once-prevalent mills.

“Paper Mill, built by Richard Conklin circa 1782, produced fine linen paper–site at (the) end of Mill Dam and Bridge, northerly 250 feet,” it advises.

While the mill itself no longer exists, much of the town’s architectural heritage has been preserved.

“Cold Spring (its original name) was, over 200 years ago, much as it is today,” according to the Fall 2019 edition of the CSHFHM Newsletter. “The same harbor, the same hills, the same valley through which Bedlam Street and Black Street ran and which today are known as Main and Spring Streets. It was a community where commerce was strong.”

Aside from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium at the entrance to the town, there are several other important attractions here.

Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum:

Like the public library, the town’s fire house had several locations before it occupied the present one, and the museum building that preserves and interprets its history survived more than a century before it could do so.

Its first location, in the Harness Store, but known as the Teal Building, was chosen on April 11, 1896 by the Cold Spring Harbor taxpayers, and its Hook and Ladder Company #1 served a one-mile fire district. Moving to a new, larger fire house constructed in 1906, it became a co-resident with the Phenix Engine Company, which itself had protected the community since 1852.

In 2007, local citizens saved the original Teal Building from demolition, at which time it was acquired, relocated, restored, and preserved, and, as the front portion of the current museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“We invite you to step into the past,” its brochure states. “Visit our nationally registered firehouse. See and feel the texture of the wainscoted walls and ceilings. Delight in the tiny sounds of the museum’s century-old nickelodeon. Let your imagination take you back to a time when neighbors stood side-by-side in this small whaling port and fought the ravages of fire.”

The museum’s equipment includes a Phenix hand tub, a Ford Model TT chemical truck, and a 1939 American La France Engine. Other artifacts and displays encompass a Pompier ladder, signal lights, balls, copper and brass extinguishers, fire grenades, leather buckets, and fire gear.

The cupola that adorned the fire house as far back as 1930 is located outside, behind the museum. Discovered in pieces after the District’s Board of Commissionaires voted to have it replaced it with an aluminum one, it was painstakingly restored to its present condition.

Methodist Episcopal Church and Preservation Long Island:

Across Main Street and not far from the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum is the Methodist Episcopal Church, another of the town’s buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Constructed in 1842 by Israel Valentine, a local craftsman, during the whaling era on a site acquired from Judge Richard M. Conklin, who himself was one of the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company’s partners, it was subjected to various architectural modifications, particularly to its front façade and steeple configuration, throughout the years.

At the time, the town’s Main Street, reflecting tis pre-motorized days, was a path only wide enough for a horse-drawn carriage to occupy and it passed right outside the church’s front door.

After serving the congregation for 149 years, the building was closed and acquired by Preservation Long Island in 1996 for use as an upper-level exhibition gallery and a lower administration office.

Founded in 1948 as the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, but amending its name in 2017, it states its mission is “to work with Long Islanders to protect, preserve, and celebrate our region’s cultural heritage through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.”

With more than 8,000 objects, it possesses one of the most significant regional assemblages of material culture in New York State. Its exhibition gallery has showcased four centuries of fine and decorative arts, architecture, and historical documents. Some of its past exhibits have centered around landmarks, maps, photography, and antiques.

The Whaling Museum and Education Center:

Of Cold Spring Harbor’s many attractions, the Whaling Museum and Education Center ranks as one of its more significant ones. This is aptly reflected in its very mission of “engaging the community in exploring the diversity of our whaling heritage and its impacts to enrich and inform our lives.”

It totes itself as “the only museum open year-round which explores the whaling history of Long Island.”

‘Long Island boosts a particularly vibrant whaling heritage,” according to its website. “Historically, whaling was one of Long Island’s most important commercial industries, significantly shaping the economic development and social foundation of the region, as well as contributing to American’s emergence as an international power in the 19th century. One of the three whaling ports on Long Island (along with Sag Harbor and Greenport), Cold Spring Harbor… offers a microcosmic view of the quintessential 19th-century American whaling town.”

Cornerstone of the museum is New York State’s only fully-equipped, 19th-century whaleboat. Constructed of white oak and featuring canvas sails and American hemp ropes, the 1,000-pound vessel is 28 feet long and six feet wide. Typically crewed by a half-dozen, it was provisioned with18 to 22 oars, and was last used by the Daisy, a New Bedford whaling brig, during one of the final American whaling voyages from the Caribbean to South George Island in the Atlantic between 1912 and 1913. The more than 143 whaling ships that made some one thousand voyages from Cold Spring Harbor, Sag Harbor, and Greenport during the era were each equipped with between three and five such boats that were only lowered to the water after a whale sighting.

“… (The full-sized) ship had three masts, carried four or five small boats, and had the largest crew,” according to the “Golden Age of Whaling” article in the Amityville Record (July 13, 2021). “There were six men per small boat, and ship keepers (steward, cook, cooper, blacksmith, or carpenter) stayed aboard the vessel when the small boats were chasing whales. The ship was built to travel the longest distance and could stay at sea for three to four years.”

Crew occupied their time during long stretches by etching images into whalebones.

The last Long Island-based whaling ship sailed in 1871, but never returned.

Other museum exhibits include a ship model of the Charles W. Morgan, the skull of an orca whale, a diorama depicting Cold Spring Harbor during the 1850s, maritime art, and one of the northeast’s most significant scrimshaw collections. The era is brought to life with re-creations, such as “James General Store,” “Chores on Deck,” and “Life Below Deck.” Other displays include “Waterproofing a Whaleship,” “Whale Oil Barrels,” and “Cooking with Whale Oil in a Trypot.” Video monitor films enhance the experience, with documentaries like “The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan.”

The museum’s 6,000 object and archival holdings preserve Cold Spring Harbor’s maritime history and its 2,800-strong library collection consists of primary and secondary volumes and manuscripts from the town’s whaling fleet, ship logs, journals, records of Long Island coastal trade, and documents from the Cold Spring Harbor Custom House.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center:

The DNA Learning Center, the educational arm of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is the town’s last major attraction, but is considered the world’s first biotechnical museum.

“Since the DNA Learning Center was established in 1988,” according to its website, “we’ve been advancing genetics education for students and families. We deliver biotechnology instruction through laboratory field trips for students in New York and beyond. More than 700,000 middle and high school students have experienced our hands-on approach to science instruction over the last 30 years. We offer in-person field trips and summer camps on Long Island and in New York City.”


While shopping may not carry historical connections, Cold Spring Harbor’s very structures prove to be preserved pockets of its past.

“… Many of our shops and businesses are located in buildings that once served as the homes of ship captains,” the Fall 2019 edition of the CSHFHM Newsletter explains. “Our beautiful harbor now welcomes visitors who arrive by yacht and serves recreational boaters, baymen, and fishermen.”

Antiques, art, souvenirs, trinkets, and candles are all sold in shops that line Main Street, which almost exudes a New England atmosphere.

Country Club Studio, for instance, bills itself as offering “gifts with a Tiffany touch.” A waft of scents and fragrances meets the visitor as he enters the Heritage and Candle Home. And Kellogg’s Dolls’ Houses displays and sells meticulously-assembled, museum-quality doll houses made from 3/8ths-of-an-inch birch plywood.


Cold Spring Harbor dining depends upon the meal and the monetary means. The Gourmet Whaler, for example, offers lighter, lunch fare, such as tacos, wraps, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and quesadillas. Sweetie Pies on Main, serving “fine coffee and incredible edibles,” offers croissants, mini-pizzas, bagels, quiches, and salads, along with sweet-side satisfactions like muffins, cookies, scones, and pastries with cappuccinos.

Two restaurants offer more elegant selections.

Grasso’s, the first, was established in 1994 and takes the diner “on a journey from a quaint 1850 town to a hip, New York-style restaurant and jazz club serving New American cuisine,” according to its self-description.

Its menu includes appetizers of grilled hearts of artichoke and Prince Edward Island mussels; Gail’s grilled peach and classic Caesar salads; grilled Atlantic salmon, chicken parmesan, and Long Island duck entrees; and tartufo, gelato, tiramisu, and triple chocolate mousse cake desserts.

Harbor Mist, billed as “Cold Spring Harbor’s finest steak, Italian, and seafood restaurant,” is the second local upscale eatery. Its menu features items such as clams on the half shell, mozzarella caprese, Mediterranean salad, sesame seed encrusted yellow fin tuna, pork chops Michelle, filet mignon, and rack of lamb. Both restaurants have extensive wine lists.

Although it is compact, a day in Cold Spring Harbor is naturally, historically, and culinarily rewarding.


CSHFHM News: The Newsletter of the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum, Winter 2015.

CSHFHM News: The Newsletter of the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum, Fall 2019.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium website.

Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum website.

Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center Newsletter, July-August 2021.

“Golden Age of Whaling.” Amityville Record. July 13, 2021.

Hughes, Robert C. Images of America: Cold Spring Harbor. Charleston, South Carolina: Acadia Publishing, 2014.

Preservation Long Island Biennial Report: 2019-2020. Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

Preservation Long Island Notes Newsletter. Cold Spring Harbor, New York: Fall 2020.

The Whaling Museum and Education Center website.


Source by Robert Waldvogel

April 5, 2022
View: 257


If you fell for a gorgeous slab, pair it with a backsplash material that will show it at its best.

You’ve chosen granite countertop for their beauty and durability. Are you still stumped about what to use for your backsplash? We have accumulated a few popular choices made by various designers, home-owners and builders.

Granite is tricky. There are so many different color and pattern choices. Some are very busy with wither movements or tones, while others are subtle. Some are dark, others are light. Some have large natural blotches (which some of us just love it for being “natural”) while others are dotty or splattered.

Each granite or marble slab is unique, so it’s impossible to make sweeping generalities about what will work with every color of granite. But if you look at why and how these pairings are pleasing and important, you’ll get some good ideas for a material to pair with the particular stone you’ve fallen for.

1) The same granite or marble, all the way up:

Full high backsplash are pretty common. Not only you get to see the beauty of the stone vertically (and match veining horizontally) to create a book match, it also makes it easier to clean and maintain. Just a regular swipe with soap water does the magic. When you are considering a full-high backsplash (as they call it) choose the part of the slab (whilst selecting) that you would like to highlight. It could be a particular section of colors or a dramatic mica or a pretty consistent movement. Think of it as an art painting on a kitchen wall.

2) The “standard” 4-inch backsplash in the same countertop:

This is usually called the “standard” as most fabricators provides these with the countertop to hide the gap between the countertop and the wall. This helps them complete the transition. If you prefer the white wall or just paint the wall to your color theme instead this is the way to go. You can always add glass mosaics or subway tiles later when you are ready.

3) Large rectangular tile:

Large subway tiles are in fashion now. 4×12, 4×16 even 6×12 or 6×24 planks. They make the room look larger. Coordinate these subway tiles and mosaics in travertine, porcelain and ceramic or even glass to create the kitchen backsplash that’s minimalist and warm.

4) Subway tiles:

The evergreen 3×6, 4×4 or 6×6 subway tiles comes in travertine, slate, glass, porcelain and ceramic and takes you back in time when they were first used in New York subway system. You could pick a color from your granite or marble countertop or the color which is dominant to choose the shade of your subway tile.

5) Glass tile:

The gloss finish of glass tile complements many granite and marble countertops. Consider a neutral tone that’s a close match for the main color field in the granite.

6) Interlocking mosaic tile:

It is a beautiful combination of glass and stone or glass and stainless steel mosaic tiles. Not only they are newer and modern they help you create or carry on the theme into another room. Match it with your living room fireplace or bar in the next room. The changes in tone in each of these handmade mosaic tiles are quiet and lovely. It’s easier to cut and install mosaics with meshed backing. The interlocking mosaics locks in place for the next piece for a smooth grout line finish.

7) Brick mosaic tile:

This one may seem counter-intuitive (no pun intended), but the 2×4 or 1×3, and other sized brick mosaic tile in are elegant mosaics which plays nicely with your color combination. It might seem like they would be two busy patterns, but the material and coloring of the backsplash is a calming counterpoint (pun intended).

8) Metal inserts and listello accents:

Plain subway tile might have been too plain here, but the dotting in the eclectic tile pattern plucked from the range mosaic adds a playful touch. Use chair rails and pencil liners to complete the project in style. Using metal inserts with natural stone backsplash such as travertine mosaics and marble tiles gives the look for richness. If you’re looking at a palette that has a lively travertine pattern but feels like simple white or cream blocks of tile then you should consider livening things up over the range. Creating a frame within the backsplash (behind cook-top) using chair rails or pencil moldings gets oomph effect.

9) Tumbled marble tile:

Tumbled subway tiles comes in marble, travertine and slate mosaics. The uneven edges creates that mid-century look on your backsplash. With wide grout lines they have no competition. When choosing your backsplash tiles, you’ll have a few places to pick up the right hues. Look to the range of colors in your countertop pattern to find the right darker tones. Look to your cabinet color as well. Tie the cabinets to the countertops with these tumbled subway tiles.

Now that you have seen some designers’ ideas, you can start to play with the colors, sizes, shapes, scales, materials, finishes and patterns of your backsplash-countertop combination until you get it right. Remember to pay attention to the colors and materials of the cabinets and walls too.


Source by Rahul Dewan

March 21, 2022
View: 319


I teach students how to paint and draw light. I am also a lighting specialist. My fascination with light encompasses, not only the commercial, retailing aspect, but the artistic as well. Once drawing and painting skills are developed to the point where students can accurately put down what they see, creating light and shadow is studied and faithfully delineated subject matter emerges in a world of space and volume.

Basically, the depiction of light and shadow is accomplished by using dark and light colors in painting and tonal gradations in drawing. For a beginning student this often requires some visual skills.. First, I tell the student it is necessary to convert what they see to a two-dimensional vision that they can translate to a two-dimensional surface like a canvas or a sketchbook page.

Seeing objects two-dimensionally can be done in several ways. The easiest (and most time-tested) is to construct a grid in front of the subject matter–that could be actual objects, a photo or a picture. This can be done most simply by holding a pencil vertically and horizontally against the viewed objects, comparing their shapes to the vertical and horizontal lines of the pencil.

Another time-tested method is to literally construct a grid on plate glass or Plexiglas and place that grid in front of the objects. Now the viewed objects are intersected by many squares (depending on how large or small the squares in the grid are.) Each quadrant (square) of the grid can then be painted or drawn independently and upon completing the entire grid, the composition of objects is finished to compose an accurate picture of the objects.

Light and shadow are more easily discerned and created with this grid method. How objects are illuminated can be defined on paper or canvas by observing and re-creating light and shadow at play in each quadrant. In accomplishing this by shading and highlighting, illumination and therefore, volume is created, the illusion of the three-dimensional space is created, reborn on a two-dimensional surface.

Accuracy, as well as light and shadow were not always the motivation behind depicting artful images. Before the Renaissance, art works in Europe depicted objects ( figures, landscapes, buildings) in a flat space. There was no light and shadow. Figures were delineated and colored in a style much like a coloring book. These images translated well to stained glass windows and mosaics. Their simplicity of line and color contributed to the strength of the iconography, often of religious significance.

With the discovery of perspective, space and volume became important to artists as well as the depiction of light and shadow. Symbolic icons and images described by line gave way to depictions of illuminated space. In perspective, objects recede and advance in a two-dimensional space that is totally visually believable. To augment the receding and advancing figures with directional light and shadow completed the believability, creating a world the eye could explore as a simulated, illuminated three-dimensional environment.

Spiritual light, the vehicle of infinity was often expressed with the use of gold leaf in Medieval altarpieces. The warm, glowing, reflective surface behind religious figures imbued the work with a rich and reassuring statement-the glory of heaven and God’s power. A more earthly light replaced gold leaf in the Renaissance. Spiritual figures were bathed in sunlight and swathed in shadow. The light that illuminated the humble shepherds was the same light that shone on Jesus and his followers.

It is interesting to me that the journey a beginning drawing or painting student takes often replicates the historical transition from the Medieval use of line and color-in style to the Renaissance application of illuminated space and volume. And, with more advanced students, their journey often continues to repeat the contemporary return to line and color-in, the preference for depicting flat, shallow space and solid color.

I find this reassuring. The art world is wide open, brimming with many styles, images, materials and skills. For today’s artist, everything is available, to use towards a creative purpose. All of history as well as the latest technological/digital images are ready to be researched and developed.


Source by Lois Dewitt

March 6, 2022
View: 254


The combination of the decorative arts with literature and creative writing has led to many classical stories and novels themed around a painting or artifact. Others have used tapestry as metaphor to imply a weaving of a tale, and using tapestry to theme a story has strengthened the power that tapestry has of telling a legend or story through a magnificent tableau. When we think of what it is about tapestry that inspires those to write and use the craft in literature there is the weaving element of words being spun together to form a tale. There may of course be a story hidden within the stitches of a tapestry just waiting to be told or imagined and recreated. Just as the tapestry is created by fine stitchery so stories are developed through connecting ideas.

Stories Without End In The Walls

The Tapestry House was first written by Mrs Molesworth in 1879 and is centred around a small girl who lives in a house where one of the rooms is covered in tapestry. Indeed her maid says that,” There are stories without end in the walls of the tapestry room”. Viewing the tapestry in the moonlight sees it draped in natural beauty and with creatures coming to life. Imagine a peacock walking out of a tapestry! A magical tale is woven, firing the imagination of those who gaze at a tapestry and wonder what the picture really means.

Silk Tapestry by Patrick Atagan tells the story of an old woman, a boy and a wild spirit who combine to change the world around them in this charming Chinese folk tale. The completion of a magical tapestry is a core element to the story and enhances the mystique around antique and faded tapestries and the tale woven into the fabric.

Inspired by Tapestry

Tapestry and famous paintings have been known to inspire writers to create novels from the view they perceive. One of the more well known novels relating to tapestry is the Lady and the Unicorn by Tracey Chevalier which was inspired by the famous panels depicting the six senses and now displayed in the Cluny Museum. Each panel features the Lady and a Unicorn and is themed around a sense such as sight or hearing. The story unfolds as a Paris Nobleman commissions a set of six tapestries to impress and the young weaver, wanting a change from creating battle scenes, designs the Unicorn panels, all depicting an aspect of the six senses. Into the story is woven loves, friendships and rivalry, as well as historical research concerning the lives of dyers and weavers at the time. It is, in effect a tapestry about a tapestry.

Using a different yet powerful perspective, Marjory Agosin in her book, Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love 1974-1994 tells the stories of countless women living in poverty and hardship in Chile under the Pinochet regime. In one of the most spectacular protests the omen created arpilleras or patchwork tapestries of everyday life, embroidering their sorrow into the fabric as they told the story of their disappeared relatives. Smuggled out of Chile these tapestries expressed the fruitless searches to the world. In a way that imparted great emotion and feeling, these stories told through tapestry recounted a very different type of narrative in a powerful and striking manner.

Tapestry as Metaphor

Tapestry implies a weaving and creation of a picture or pieces coming together to form a wider perspective. Tapestry has been used in the title of a number of crime novels and thrillers to imply a mysterious aspect. In fantasy novels tapestry is evident in titles such as the Fionavar Trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay, perhaps implying a mysterious weaving together of ideas. Like tapestry panels such as the classical Unicorn series, a trilogy also combines a series of novels into a bigger story than can be contained in one picture or book.

Combining the Creative Arts

Writing and literature express ideas and creative imaginations. In early medieval times before the development of literacy and mass produced books tapestry was used to tell a story to the masses, such as the Bayeux Tapestries. That tapestry finds itself in literature and in storytelling is not unusual but a powerful combination of the creative arts that is more readily accessible in the age of information. Tapestry will continue to have a classical and timeless appeal and will still be an inspiration to those who wish to be creative in thought and action.


Source by Angela Dawson-Field

February 19, 2022
View: 272


Non-figurative abstraction begins with the imaginative power of humans. Clearly distinguishable from fantasy art, the form reflects reality in non-figurative expressions. In simpler words, non-figurative abstract art depicts real forms in rather a different way. Abstract art is not an outcome of the 20th century thinkers, contrary to popular belief. It also does not have a sudden origin. If we go back to the Islamic and Jewish religions, where depiction of human bodies was a definite no-no, then we can find a lot of calligraphy and non-figurative art forms. Let us even date back to the prehistoric times, where humans used symbols for fire, water or thunder, which are hard for a modern man to interpret. However, those prehistoric creations have an eternal appeal to the modern men, because of the intrinsic aesthetics. Therefore, we can take those depictions of our ancestors as work of abstraction.

What history says?

People regard Wassily Kandinsky as the father of abstract art. Though started with figurative work in 1910, he gradually moved out of it and concentrated on non-figurative forms. Painters like Kasimir Malewich followed his path and took the art form to another level. His paintings were mostly on simple geometric forms. Other artists following Kandinsky’s path were Paul Klee, Raoul Dufy, and Piet Mondrian. Piet Mondrian pioneered the first non-figurative abstract paintings.

In the middle of the 20th century, some landmark events totally changed the normal course of abstraction. The Jewish persecution by Hitler, the World War II, and admonition of modern art by the Nazis resulted in immigrant ultramodern European artists into the United States of America, in hundreds of numbers. This brought forward a fresh wave in the American art scenario, resulting in the birth of Abstract Expressionism.

Abstract Expressionism – What it is

Abstraction actually removes the reality in an object. The degree of removal varies from partial to complete. The image becomes a replica of the reality in its subtle form.

The term does not depict any style. It is rather a concept of performing art. The movement, consisting of famous artists like Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock, pushed all the traditional boundaries beyond every limit. Mark Rothko introduced one segment of abstraction with unified blocks of color, popularly known as “Color Field Abstract Art”. The other segment included multiple genres like Cubism, Expressionism, Action painting, and Surrealism. However, the core of abstract work remains in depicting the subconscious of the artist on canvas.

Phenomenal wave created by the masters

Pablo Picasso, in the first decade of the twentieth century, created a new wave in the world of abstraction. It drastically changed the presentation, forms, and styles of creations and created a ripple of movements; affecting the works of poets, musicians, and authors all across the globe. Practice of Cubism by George Barque in his emotionally charged paintings with altered forms, colors, and shapes of Expressionism laid the plinth of abstraction. The form also gathered its inspiration from post-Impressionism artists like Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, and Cezanne. During the early twentieth century, Henry Matisse, along with his followers, introduced Fauvism. It concerned usage of raw colors.

What makes abstract art different?

The basic characteristic that differentiates abstract art from realism is the fluidity. This form represents things that lie beyond the visionary perception of human beings, like sound, emotion or spiritual experience. To quote Kandinsky, “of all arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and of colors, and that you are a true poet; this last is essential.

The future of abstract painting

With advent of newer tools and methodologies, there is a shift in style from the traditional ones like color field painting and action painting. Forms take different shapes, ideas become modern, and fresh thoughts arise. However, the basic idea behind abstraction remains the same. Non-figurative abstract art definitely has a colorful and bright future.


Source by Sumita Dutta

February 4, 2022
View: 347


Your home is a perfect reflection of your personal style. There are a plethora of interior decoration themes that cater to our preferences. Be it the eclectic Bohemian theme or the subtle minimalist setting, there are different types of style that speak to your soul. For all those people looking to remodel their homes, here are the most popular interior decoration themes.

1. Modern

Modern is all about going highlighting clutter free entails. Asymmetry is highly celebrated and clean lines in the architecture are much preferred. Instead of using too many small accessories, the modern theme uses big paintings to complement the open wall space. Open floor plans are common to achieve a sense of being in large space. Small apartments or houses with a serious space crunch use this particular decor to make the place look larger.

Common Color: Muted colors like beige, light browns and even grays are used for the modern theme. Bright colors are used to add accent to the walls.

Common Furniture: The furniture is simple and over embellishments is a big no-no.

2. Contemporary

Often used interchangeably with modern styles, contemporary is whole different interpretation. While the modern design is a representation of a movement that started in the 20th century, contemporary is a fluid design that doesn’t adhere to any particular style. For the latter, the significance is paid to adding a fresh and natural look to space. The focus is always on lines, forms and shapes. In fact, contemporary is always identified by its sleek and muted features minus any kind of extravagance. Materials play a more important part than colors.

Common Colors: Color is not the focal point in a contemporary setting. As long as the shades bring depth and variety to the interior, it is good to go.

Common Furniture: Furniture with a slim silhouette is the trademark of contemporary décor. Light colored woods with clean lines are common.

3. Minimalist

“Less is more” is the motto used for the minimalist lifestyle, and the décor is just a reflection of the same. According to Houston remodeling contractors, this theme has gained momentum during the last few months. The movement is all about cutting down the excess with minimum furniture and minimum accessories. The idea is to declutter life and reduce attachment to materials. Having less furniture in a room achieves the sense of abundance space, which is the key feature of the minimalist theme.

Common Color: White is predominant in this particular theme. Monochromes and grays are used to achieve a sense of accents.

Common Furniture: Furniture used is the bare minimum and have neat designs. Plants are common in a minimalist setting.

4. Traditional

Elegant, balanced and symmetrical are some of the most common adjectives associated with the traditional theme. This type of decor is all about providing warmth and comfort using subtle colors and designs. The furniture is used in abundance. Accessories play an important role in adding to the charm of the traditional theme. Heavy curtains, accent pieces, candle stands, vases, sculptures and mirrors play a major role in adding to the balanced look of this decor.

Common Color: A natural palette consisting of colors like beige, taupe and cream are popular. Darker shades are used at times to add accent.

Common Furniture: Dark colored wooden furniture with detailed work, carved moldings and soft edges are common. Maple, oak, cherry and mahogany lend to the elegance.

5. Bohemian

A Bohemian interior is associated mostly with bright hues and eclectic patterns. Every Bohemian setup might look similar but are completely different from each other. Much of this motif is about the unconventional use of accessories. To get the perfect Boho theme, layering is a must. For an interesting finish, elements from a different era and different country can be used. Add as many fabrics, colors and patterns to the mix; this theme has no priority as long as it all looks very vivid and vibrant.

Common Colors: The Boho palette is dazzling with a wide range of colors. Combining the different spectrum casts the maximum charm.

Common Furniture: The furniture should possess a tribal vibe. Vintage furniture goes best with this theme.

6. Industrial

Drawing inspiration from an urban loft, the theme industrial has an unfinished rawness about it. This trend came to light as old warehouses started getting converted into lofts and studio apartments. Unfinished bricked walls, an open floor plan, bare windows, exposed ductwork and wood works are extremely common for this particular theme. High ceilings, dangling metal fixtures and old timber are also regular for the industrial decoration theme. You can either keep the walls neutral or add a splash of color here and there. The floor is usually polished concrete to anchor the whole look together.

Common colors: Lots of browns and grays. Primary colors are often replaced with darker shades of gray, blue and red to compliment the setup.

Common Furniture: Tin, steel, aluminum and iron are dominant for this theme. Lighting fixtures usually come in metal finish. Wood and concrete are also used.

Remodeling your home should be easy with a particular vision and the kind of theme you want. Home is truly where the heart and soul is! So pick the decoration theme you like the most, hire reputed Houston remodeling contractors and make your home the reflection of your imagination.


Source by Patrick Martin

January 20, 2022
View: 294


In less than ten years, Jack Vettriano has emerged from obscurity to become Britain’s foremost contemporary narrative painter despite having never received any formal art school training.

Born in St Andrews, Scotland in 1954, Vettriano left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer in the local coalfields. For his twenty- first birthday, a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint. The local art gallery, The Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery, with its renowned collection of 19th and 20th century Scottish paintings, was particularly inspirational. It was fourteen years before Vettriano felt ready to show any of his work in public. In 1989 he offered two works to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year, an equally enthusiastic reaction greeted the three paintings, which he entered for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy. In the last nine years, interest in, and desire for his work, has grown rapidly. There have been sell-out solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. In November 1999, Vettriano’s work was shown for the first time in New York, when twenty paintings were displayed at The International 20th Century Arts Fair at The Armory. Fifty collectors from the UK flew out for the opening night of the Fair and all twenty paintings were sold out within an hour of the opening. In March 2000, BBC Scotland produced a half-hour documentary about Vettriano for their Arts Series EX-S; aired initially in Scotland only, the documentary is likely to be aired UK-wide later this year. Vettriano’s last major exhibition, Lovers and Other Strangers, was at the Portland Gallery in London in June 2000. After its London run, the exhibition transferred on loan to The Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery in Fife. Attendance figures indicated that more people visited the Museum during the Vettriano exhibition than had done so in the whole of the previous year. A book about the artist was published to coincide with this exhibition.

The Singing Butler is Jack Vettriano’s best selling print. Vettriano has made millions from this single image. His art deco style captures the public’s imagination. Published by Pavilion Books, Lovers and Other Strangers features over 100 paintings selected from the work of the last ten years and biographical text by Anthony Quinn. In 2010 the new Jack Vettriano exhibition, Days of Wine and Roses, started in Kirkcaldy before transferring to London and Milan Jack Vettriano gifts In September 2001, Vettriano donated a painting to a charity auction, which was held at Sotheby’s in aid of Help the Hospices.

Night in the City is one of the artist’s sexy images, still available as a limited edition print. The painting, Beautiful Dreamer, was the second highest bid for Lot, making £25,000. UK Portland Gallery exhibited twenty- one paintings at artLONDON, an annual contemporary art fair, in May 2002. All twenty-one paintings were sold within the first hour of the opening night. Aside from his exhibitions, Vettriano has acquired a vast following through the posters and prints of his paintings that are distributed worldwide. This year the two best selling art posters in Britain are both Vettriano images.

Dance me to the End of Love and Dancer in Emerald are 2 of Vettriano’s top selling posters at the moment. To date, more than 1,000,000 posters of Vettriano’s paintings have sold worldwide A University spokesperson said, “It is a privilege for the University to honour one of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists and a particular pleasure to do so because of the amount of time which Jack Vettriano has invested in helping the University’s students fulfil some of their own artistic aspirations.”

Vettriano’s most recent work is the limited edition print Diva, published in June 2020. Diva is in the artist’s typical romantic style, featuring a lady putting on make-up to get ready for a night out.


Source by David Rankin

January 17, 2022
View: 292


It’s almost spring and it’s time for another Northwest Adventure. We’ve been working hard for several months and wanted a few days to sleep, read, talk together and enjoy a quiet life without phones, deadlines, emails, demands and sometimes-balky computers.

We set off for the Silver Cloud Inn in Mikilteo, about 70 minutes north of Tacoma. The day was sunny and warm looking but with a chill wind, great weather for traveling.

We’d never actually been to Mukilteo, but we had traveled all around it. I’d been to nearby Edmonds for calligraphy events such as the early May Letters of Joy, a Friday night lecture and all-day Saturday series of classes. I’d even stayed at the Lynnwood Silver Cloud for LOJ. The Lynnwood motel is one of the older ones in the chain; it’s a perfectly fine motel in a strip mall but it can’t compare with the waterfront ambiance of the Mukilteo inn.

When you leave I-5, you wind through miles of the Mukilteo Speedway. It looks like a South Tacoma Way, with car lots, junk car lots, strip malls and fast-food joints for miles. But as you come down the hill to approach the actual ferry terminal, your socks are knocked off your feet by the overwhelming beauty of the shoreline of the bay, islands, and even Mount Baker in the distance. It’s open-mouthed stunning.

From the left is a state park, historical lighthouse and buildings, one building of condominiums, the Whidby Island ferry terminal, Ivar’s Restaurant and Fish Bar and then the Silver Could Inn.

Unfortunately, the Coast Guard lighthouse wasn’t open for visitors the two days we were there, but we stood outside the picket fence and looked into the yard.

The Silver Cloud is brightly clad in white shingle siding, with parking under the building. When you go into the lobby, you look at a gorgeous wrap-around view.

The lobby extends across the side of the building, with mullioned windows opening to the view, making the room seem more like a home than a public building. The room is arranged with comfortable wing chairs set in conversational areas, tables and chairs, nicely framed prints, suitcases that looked as if a guest from the 1940s and ’50s had just set them down, fireplace, bookshelves with a good cross section of books to suit the tastes of the guests and lamps for comfortable reading. It ends in a beautiful antique looking Kitchen Queen hutch with cups and teabags. It trails into a small kitchen where they keep the pump coffeepots and juices.

We checked into our room, which had the same gorgeous views, oriented towards the ferry terminal. The ferry comes in every half-hour until 1 a.m. and then goes to once an hour until 6 a.m. and then resumes its half-hourly schedule. We had many opportunities to see the ferry. Out on the sound, sometimes the one that’s coming in seems to respectfully dance around the one that had just gone out. As if by magic, it seems that every time you look out the window, you see a ferry.

The room had a comfortable blue décor, with an armchair and ottoman, a microwave, refrigerator, ironing board and iron, gas fireplace and a spa tub in a window enclosure overlooking the ferry dock. Best of all for us, however, is the fact that the room has nice reading lamps on BOTH sides of the bed as well as a lamp for the easy chair and ottoman. We didn’t have to wrestle for the side of the bed with the lamp.

We decided to go for a walk and looked at the restaurants across the street from the Silver Cloud and ferry terminal. First was the Buzz Inn, which looked pretty average. There was a lot of activity at Ivar’s Fish Bar. People coming off the ferry or waiting for the ferry lined up at Ivar’s. We never tried the Fish Bar. Don hates lines.

We crossed a small intersection of busy ferry traffic to the Diamond Knot Brewery and the Manhattan Restaurant. I looked at the posters and newspaper clippings in the window of the Manhattan. It seemed we were a day late to enjoy belly dancing at the Manhattan. We popped our heads into the Manhattan and Don told the owner that we’d be back. Then we went to the brewery.

The sign on the brewery door says, “Come On In/ If door is unlocked, /We’re open. /Must be 21 or older,” – poetry for the beer drinkers of the world. In other words, if you can get in, you can get in. I found this very funny and I hadn’t even had a drink, yet.

We went into the brewery to have a beer. It’s a long corridor of a bar, with stools lined up along the bar, a conversational area with a couch and chairs, some tables in the back just before the keg storage area. The sign had a peanut shell motiff and there was truth in advertising. Peanut shells littered the floor.

We sat back near the kegs and had a house ale. The kegs kind of remind us of our home rental days. We used to have several rentals around the University of Puget Sound. Sometimes we would end up with empty kegs after students left.

We drank the ale and read the local newspaper, The Mukilteo Beacon. The ale was good but a cigar smoker drove us out after only one glass.

For dinner we went to Ivar’s restaurant, just next door to the Silver Cloud. The wind was very brisk; this means that it was blowing like crazy. Don and I held onto our hats. Ivar’s even posted a sign on the door warning customers to watch out because the wind was slamming the door shut. But it was warm and comfortable in the restaurant as we were shown to a table on the water view side.

I ordered the Idaho trout. The waitress said, “I’m sorry, but we’re out of it.” “Ok, then, I’ll have the Prawn Primavera.” “I’m sorry, but we’re out of that, too. We’re out of a lot of things. The cook’s telling us that someone may have to go to the store!” Don ordered the pan-fried oysters. I love pan-fried oysters, if they are cooked crispy on the outside yet melting on the inside. They had that, so I ordered it too. These were wonderful. Before our dinners had even come, I heard the waitress telling the woman behind us, “I’m sorry but we’re out of the pan-fried oysters.” It’s a good thing it didn’t take us 15 minutes to order.

While we were eating we watched people on the dock. Even with the wind, people stood and watched the waves and ferry. Two men on the pier repeatedly cast a crab pot into the water, waited a few minutes and pulled it out. They seemed successful. After a while we saw one man leave and as he came back along the walkway, his baseball cap blew off onto the sand. He must have walked up past the Silver Cloud and then climbed down to the beach, for we saw him retrieve his hat about ten minutes later.

After dinner, we went for a walk along the pier and talked to the man who had lost his hat. Don asked him, “How in the world do you keep your hat on anyway, in this wind?” The man wasn’t very talkative, but said, “I just cram it on.”

It was windy and chilly. Sometimes the wind would gust. Sand and shell particles beat against the windows of our room like hail. Back in our cozy room I took a long luxurious bath.

The room we had protruded out from the rest of the structure. The main view side contained a gas fireplace and the spa tub. The tub looked directly down on the water to the North and the ferry landing, Ivar’s, and the rest of the motel rooms on the West.

Don lowered the privacy shades and, clutching the Inn’s nice, thick terry robe to my bosom, I modestly crawled into the tub. With the lights out Don raised the shades so I could see out. The spa-tub water whirled and churned. I relaxed and peered out over the tub. A heron stalked along the windswept shore. I sank back into the warm waters of the spa.

The next morning, I went down to the lobby. An antique cupboard stands by the breakfast area. It holds China plates, cups and tea bags.

I enjoyed, and make that ENJOYED the Continental breakfast the Silver Cloud puts on. I had granola, yogurt, tea, and a cinnamon twist pastry. They also had fresh fruit, several kinds of coffee, several cereals, many pastries as well as a toaster with bread, bagels, waffles, French toast and English muffins. It was quite extensive and I was pleased. I really enjoyed sitting in a wing back chair at a marble table, looking out at the phenomenal view as I ate.

The best thing about the Silver Cloud’s continental breakfast wasn’t even the food. It was the detail. They didn’t have plastic utensils and the dinnerware was placed in flower pots lined with cloth napkins. Very elegant.

Don got up early. Don always gets up early. He went to the lobby just expecting to have coffee. He wanted to visit the Manhattan Restaurant. He likes BREAKFAST. With the great selection at the Silver Cloud, he ate, drank coffee, and sat while he read several newspapers (USA Today, the Seattle Times, and the Everett Herald are all provided by the Silver Cloud), and watched people. He saw couples, mostly middle-aged or over, and business people. “I’ll go to the Manhattan tomorrow”, he decided.

We went for an exploratory drive around the area. If you head up Mukilteo Boulevard, you come to a viewpoint with lovely views of the sound and all the way up to the Port of Everett.

In Everett, we drove around to the gallery of the Arts Council of Snohomish County. I’d been there once before, after a calligraphy retreat to see an exhibit of Jocelyn Curry Asher’s paintings, so beautiful, so carefully drawn and colored and her calligraphy was exquisite.

Susan Russell also has pieces on exhibit there. She teaches art in the Snohomish high school and has a wild woman way with color that matches her raving red locks. I looked at her notebook of previous work and bought two cards of hers.

Anyway, there we were, looking in the main gallery at the pieces of Tim and Lynda Lord. They were sculptures and paintings of the same subject. They were so funny and surprising, these heads of women with fantastic decorations. I even bought a sheet of stamps based on their paintings and sculptures.

In the gift shop, they had lots of greeting cards (two in brush lettering with illustrations by Susan Russell), jewelry, ceramics, and these most ingenious bird feeders. They were cups and saucers, some looking like fine china, most of sturdy stoneware. The cups and saucers were glued together and bolted onto an aluminum rod that sticks into the ground. They’d also make interesting water sources for birds.

There were also interesting garden “flowers”, made from tin cut into petal shapes, bolted together on an aluminum rod, with bottle caps as the center. One of my favorites had a Guinness bottle cap center. These were tastefully done, not like the beer can-crocheted hats favored by fashion terrorist party animals as personal adornment in the ’70s. As they move in the wind, the garden “flowers” would be a good bird deterrent for your homegrown berries.

Don looked at the sculpture and noted that there was a video production in progress. Since he is a video producer, he asked about the project and found out that a Seattle production firm was video taping a training video called Keeping the Good Ones. Just a couple of weeks later I found myself writing up an announcement for the very same training program for a client who sells training programs.

On the way out of town, we stopped at the St. Vincent de Paul store but didn’t see anything worth buying. So sad, oftentimes some of the most interesting things come from a thrift store. At Christmastime, at a Value Village, I bought my daughter-in-law a beautiful Eddie Bauer bowl with a painted sage green plaid outside and Arts and Crafts-looking oak leaves on the inside, for a very good price; and she loved it.

Rolling back into Mukilteo at lunchtime we stopped at the Manhattan Restaurant. The menu offers a funny amalgam of cuisines, featuring Egyptian, Greek, Italian, American and Mexican, as well as an ice cream parlor. When I see a sign like that, I wonder, do they do anything well? Well, yes they do.

We had an appetizer of stuffed grape and cabbage leaves. The grape leaves are better. With cabbage we’re tilting way into Polish cuisine. With grape leaves, we’re staying in the Mediterranean.

I had meatballs and spaghetti and I liked it. The noodles were al dente and the meatballs were very good. Don said they tasted like my meatloaf – perhaps the same ingredients with the inclusion of something else. I asked what the different taste was and Mrs. Bartos told me – a little dill.

An immigrant Egyptian couple Mr. and Mrs. Pete Bartos, who are always there with their little girl (and two boys in school), own the Manhattan.

The restaurant is normally closed on Mondays. They were actually only open for a party; we came in and so they served us, too . . . and then a young couple after us.

That night we went to Ivar’s again, but the wind wasn’t blowing so hard so we could stroll instead of hurry. I had a wonderful salad. Don had appetizers and we shared a dessert. After dinner we walked hand in hand onto the fishing pier and then around the Silver Cloud on the pedestrian pier. It was a lovely evening and the views were so inviting.

That evening we watched “Remember the Titans” on pay-per-view. It was a good, thought-provoking movie about overcoming prejudice and becoming a unified team. Also, it starred Denzel Washington, another good reason to watch it. I told you we were looking for the quiet life.

I drew some mock-ups for valentines in colored pencils in my sketch book while Don slept after the movie. I never did get all the valentines made for all the family members, but I did an interesting variation for Don. (He had asked me what I wanted for a Valentine’s Day present, and I told him, “A love letter.” That put the impetus on me to produce one for him, too!)

Don remarked about how it was a small world. Just weeks before our outing, we had taken our son Del to the Leon Russell concert at the Emerald Queen. One of the songs Leon played was his own arrangement of a Bobby Dylan (another of Don’s favorite singers from the old days) song, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” Don hadn’t heard that rendition of the song before. We heard it again in the background of “Remember the Titans.”

The next morning I got up and enjoyed the continental breakfast, again, in the beautiful lobby. I ate alone. Don had already gone out. He went to the Manhattan and enjoyed the company of owner Pete Botros. They talked for about a half an hour. Pete’s from Egypt and spent most of his time in the United States in New York and that’s why the place is called the Manhattan.

“So, you like New York?” Don asked. “No,” he replied, “I like it here.” About thirteen years ago he went back to Egypt and met his wife there. They got married and live upstairs. He was a contractor, but became a restaurant owner about a year ago. The restaurant is still taking shape. “You should have been here Saturday evening,” Pete said. It sounds like the Manhattan is the place to go on Saturdays. Belly dancing seems to attract the crowds, but I think that maybe it’s more than just the bellies and the dancing. I think the people come because of the Botros family. Nice people. Good food.

After lunch, we headed home, reluctantly.

We had decided not to go to Whidby Island this trip. That ferry is so busy, it must be some happening place. I have a line on some B&Bs there. Maybe next time . . .


Source by Don Doman

January 17, 2022
View: 366


“In the beginning was the Word… ” – I disagree. In the beginning was the Thought, and the Thought was with Art, and the Thought was Art.

The word is just another imperfect medium for thought. It is up to us to decide, which medium to use to interpret, materialize and communicate the thought. As a painter – my choice is obvious and mostly I refrain from too many words. But it’s a multimedia world and in response to a few requests I will employ a number of words to shed some light on the Great Unmasking series and its evolution, which looks interesting when I align the masks in a chronological order.

In the beginning was the thought embedded in the initial painting of this series – an auto portrait that I did in 2015 and the only painting in this series, where no one has argued that it was not I. What I see is a man resting his heavy head on his hand in contemplation. Here, the body is the mask for thought. An auto portrait, as the body itself, is a treasure-house for privacy and I would feel much more naked if I put up all my thought on public display then if I would find myself without any clothes on in front of a crowd. This is what this auto portrait means to me at the moment. However, I am not going to lie: this connection came in hindsight – three years after painting it. There was no genius idea that I sought to realize on canvas. It is the viewer-I that gets a certain understanding for an artwork that the painter-I has created. The painter-I and the viewer-I are two very different models for being.

The series didn’t feel complete, there was no beginning until I’ve considered the Autoportrait as a part of the series and its initial seed. Paradoxically, the most recent addition is this painting that predates all others in this line.

To share with you a little secret – that was the first time ever that I’ve painted using a palette knife. It felt good – so nice, quick, clean, crisp and looked surprisingly fine to me.

Little that I knew – it just was not enough. Too simple was the thought of portraying a physical shell, a figure that anyone can see as it is. So as it happens quite often – the circumstances lent a helping hand. To be honest, I just got into an argument with my wife and I was just angry as hell! Why? It was probably something ridiculously trivial and I would not have been able to recall it in a day, but…

Dammit, I painted anger! This really felt like grabbing a monumental emotion with my bare hands like it was a heavy boulder, picking it up and pushing it way above my head, perceiving the pressure in every vertebra of my spine, my knees and feet, my shoulders, elbows, palms to launch it with all the might I could imagine onto the canvas! Quick, violent, intuitive, simple yet powerful smears of vivid colors gave birth to the Friday Guy (it was a friday – the name was evident). That must have been an act of self-inflicted art therapy. I painted from within and when I was done it was good and I was good.

Eureka! Here it hit me like a lightning. It was a mask that I took off and realized how much I gained by doing so. The concept for a series of paintings seemed as clear at once as Adriatic waters between Dalmatian isles. The primary goal became to capture another part of self for every day of the week. I wanted to see, what I would come up with. And I still do.

The fact that I can simply do this entertains me greatly, because just a short while ago I would put on a shirt, tie and suit every monday morning and go to work to an office, make the company goals my own and make sure that my teams did just the same. A sort of tunnel vision that structured life into its flow, which is good in many ways, but that was another role to play, another mask to wear. I failed to see the light in the end of that tunnel, instead I held up a burning match at arm’s length to follow it for years. Just for as long I failed to see that there exist as many other ways as one can imagine. That was the mask of Monday Guy I wore.

I bequeath this mask of the routine to hundreds of millions of people who wear it in good faith around the world. They make the world tick as it does and I trust fully and pray that they will continue to do so. Among them are many of my good friends and great acquaintances with whom it is always a pleasure to reflect on such ideas over many pints of some good craft brew. Some love their roles, some write their own scripts and the Monday Guy mask may not apply any more, some loathe – whatever… Work hard, play hard – is the philosophy of quite a few hard-working ladies and gents I know.

One thing that quite a few of them (and I) may find in common after long conversations and too many drinks is the Sunday Guy – a mask that everyone is surely conscious of, when wearing. As blue as sunday can ever be. That’s for the color, though: blue, black and white. I’ve simplified the form and painted with a minimum of bold strokes to emanate an ancient timelessness and mystery like a giant Moai statue on the Easter Island – another association that appeared in retrospective. Yet, I am not made of stone and the feeling that all of this, good and bad, is here to stay sooner or later fades away like clouds in the skies.

The sky, no doubt, fascinates me. Clouds are wonderful and clear skies are amazing any time of year. I love looking up and seeing what’s going on in the world around me. Beautiful, light-hearted, light-blue – “the world is yours”, they tell me. And so it is – I won’t contest. That sounds quite romantic. And beauty is. As is the sky whenever and wherever. Yet, when you are in it – dozens of thousands of feet above the ground in an airplane (I envy pilots), you always find yourself surrounded by this beauty – so peaceful and calm above the clouds. Sometimes – in between of layers of clouds, where there is the sky – so clear and divine ahead, those clouds that seem like whipped cream below and above – mesmerizing… dreamy… divine…

There was a feeling of balance in everything as I was on a plane to Amsterdam. Right between such clouds it looked like there were two horizons. It was a Tuesday. But only when we were back in Kiev, have I thought about this. Maybe I am slow to recognize many a thing, but that’s just how it is. Making a sense of images and feelings requires time – sometimes years. Yet, hopefully, it is fruitful. This time around it was a bit faster as for a few weeks straight (only on Tuesdays, for some reason) this picture just reappeared in my mind. It was this idea of balance that didn’t let me go.

I kept imagining those two even, straight, well-defined layers separated by a few hundred yards of blue skyline – as if they were painted. Next Tuesday this transformed into the idea of a new look at balance – a new Yin & Yang of a personal kind. The Tuesday Guy was born. So solid, yet transparent. So dark, yet letting through all the brightness. So new, yet looking like he’s aging thanks to the craquelure. A character of his own.

The character that always exists and does not shut his eyes. The character that loves, what he does. The character that does not care, whether his embodiment is I or anyone else. The character that has the unquenchable thirst to create. The character that forgets about anything besides his… I forgot what…

Well, Tuesday past and it’s saturday night. I am on the balcony on my floor opposite from my flat. I see those street lights and cars from my fifth floor. Across the drive way is a nine story building that is a shabby dorm of some institution. Below me are a bunch of cars under the street lights. As lights keep going out in the dorm I feel that I am the only one awake and working. I don’t mind. I paint late into the night. It is a pleasure.

That is now – the moment that I always enjoy. This ever faster fleeting present – is life. The present is what fascinates me more and more throughout my life and my work. So I paint. I paint through good and bad, through wise and foolish, through all the colours. In the present I try to grasp the past and the future. But it seems that in the present moment itself there is no room for anything. It is a humble, elusive moment – always at a crossroads.

With the Wednesday Guy there is no present in the picture. There is a past and a potential future. The two I’s are not I, which is somewhere in the void between them. Now, I believe that there are other universes, where time is like “left” and “right” and is to be navigated. And I can imagine this and put a hint of it in oil paint on canvas depicting something that is no more and another state of the same thing that has yet to occur. In a way this is the best and simplest definition of the present as neither the past, nor the future.

No surprise that there are sayings in different languages referring to people not living in the present or living in the past. I catch myself sometimes living in the future, sometimes – in the past. Both feels like imagination to me. And the present becomes the past just way too quick to even pinpoint. It’s like star-gazing and seeing light that at present is millions of years old. Even our beloved sun is 8 minutes and 20 seconds away from now.

The Thursday Guy stands with the back to the viewer and faces the sun. He has no face, or rather, he has potentially them all. That is the Saint Painter that is either a genius or a fool that risks getting his retina burned to either discover something new with this action or to just go blind. Isaac Newton did such an experiment to provoke after-images, but his vision recovered, luckily. Yet, an after-image of the sun literally burned into one’s eyes is an extension of the 8 minutes and 20 seconds – an attempt to see whatever one hasn’t yet seen whatever can not be seen in normal circumstances – neither the past, nor the present, nor the future. A quest for the timeless idea, for discovery, for the pleasure of new thought and alternative perspective, but that may go along with certain sacrifices in the process, where the cost my be just a bit too high like the realization of one’s own total blindness.

I am not a proponent of martyrdom, like staring at the sun until complete blindness for some greater cause or burning oneself to death to spark the Arab Spring. Not at all. But there are sacrifices that accompany every decision and they sometimes add up in curious ways, which touches in a way on an underlying theme for several paintings after the initial “week days” in the Unmasking series.

In four square one by one meter paintings I introduce a new shape for masks that is visually more abstract and start sacrificing physical resemblance to the human face. I would love to know, what sparked this transformation and these forms, but I can not pinpoint anything. Also putting these four in a certain order is challenging because they got intertwined as I worked on all of them simultaneously.

Openness is the first thing that comes to my mind, when I look at the “Eclectic” mask, because it lies deep within its roots.

It is a concept that I wanted to embrace, when I was 16 years old as my parents and I moved from Berlin to Chicago in 1999. I remember clearly how I wanted to embrace whatever would lay ahead in that new chapter of my life to not fight against the upcoming circumstances. It seemed important to me at that point, because it took me a long time to adapt to Berlin after moving there from Kiev four or five years before and I wanted the move to the USA to be easier. I envisioned at that moment that being like a sponge to absorb whatever a completely new environment would offer, provided an easy way for assimilation, for accepting and for being accepted. And soon it was evident that I was right. However, there was much more to it…

Being like water in the city – taking on the shapes of its urban surrounding and becoming an indefinite, translucent blend-in, an enchanted mimicry of the multitude of colors around it – is a transformative experience. One that opens up or creates a new self through losing own characteristics, adapting and transforming into a self of other’s colors. That may sound and look great, but it may come at the cost of a great sacrifice – what happens with the initial self? Is the intrinsic self actually revealed in this process or does it get hidden under layers of compromises? And sooner or later it is great to be able to take off the “Eclectic” mask.

But, what do I do? I take one off and put one on.

This mask of Gold is easy and fine to hide behind. It is great as all hues become monochrome and what is left are simply riches on your mind – they are your lover and a friend – the one, who does not let you go as long as you just care. But in the moment of accepting this mask as my own I felt the sacrifice was made. Just like the Yellow mask is ripe to kill to get desire satisfied. The sacrifice is made. It is Ophelia’s last breath in light of fading love. It is the one that’s ready for last true loving touch even no matter if you hate. It is the final kiss goodbye that turns to last of thoughts. I’d paint it black for death, but it is not. As any black there is – just simply shines as my mind fades in darkness deeper than total lack of light. One that is there because it’s not, but my eye simply would just know. It is the perfect state of thing, which means – the end is here – the zero point at which in no time a new beginning just occurs, because it is the state of things as perfection lasts just this single moment that a human mind can’t really grasp – it is always now. Hence all reflection that occurs worldwide is art in all its forms. As thought bears all its might at any single point in time: The timeless time it is – the Now.

We do not have the time. The time has us. It is the sacrifice that rests within us all. The common denominator for all that we may ever know is constant transformation.

Now it just seems to me that the best thing for the art of life that I can do is spend more time with my kids and share with them each single choice’s sacrifice I made to make them truly rich at early age with all experience I have to never witness how it fades, but see it grow and blossom bright. If they will learn from the mistakes I’ve made, of which there are a lot, then it will be an early step towards wisdom – a concept that seems inapplicable to me. Instead, the dream of endless life is much more real as long as I am even just a single drop, a salty tear in the vast ocean of thought.

That multiplicity of roles and meanings, views and facets, identities that form even a single being in its own mind and ready to display is just immense. In “Silhouettes,” which derives its general outlines from the “Sunday Guy,” all shapes and lines are made of faces viewed in profile. Hundreds of silhouettes combine to form the lines. Moreover all silhouettes have two sides to them – a bright and a darker one, which are also made up of more layers that echo each small face. If I moved closer I would see each single part like every screw and bolt, each cogwheel of the whole machine. But at a moment, when I don’t want to ask way too many questions of myself, I take ten steps back and regard the simpler picture. With this in mind, I cease to be surprised about this painting causing distress to some people who found their desks too close to it, when it was a part of my solo exhibition in the open office space of the House of Decentralisation in Kiev. The emotions caused by this painting were on the opposite extremes of the spectrum…

End of Part 1


Source by Kirill Marlinski

January 17, 2022
View: 250


More than a couple of years ago now, I fell down a full flight of stairs and broke my wrist in two places. Later, I wrote an article titled, “Treatment of a Compound Fractures; Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome- Part 1”, then Two and Three, because I was left with severe nerve damage. A fuller story of my fall and all that stuff are in that article. I am NOT a doctor, physical therapist, or anything like that, no, I was a victim. I want to share with you how I dealt with all the things that go with this syndrome and the fact that recovery is indeed there for you.

I ended my last article with:

“I will continue this story under another heading. I received severe nerve damage, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome and have had to climb that uphill trail. I am an artist, yes, right handed. It has been difficult, this recovery, but I am able to paint again. My hand will never be the same but I am grateful that I can paint.”

Sounds just a bit dismal doesn’t it? So have I since recovered? Oh my yes and in more ways than one. Is my hand and wrist the same as they were? No, not completely, I will not lie to you. But this is also about your heart and the wounded bird inside you. Reflecting, I do think I could have gotten more use back than I have though, so that in part, is another reason why I am sharing my story. You can get better! You do have to work really hard at it though, no doubt about it. No sissies allowed, or at least that is what I can reflect on now. Lol

Here now I want to relate some of the feelings that I had back then, and my feelings about it all now. If you are suffering from this you are going to relate to a few of the things I write about and I think it will help you to know you are not alone.

7 Tips Toward Recovering YOU again

1) Waa! I Will Never Be The Same! (or so it feels)

You want to cradle your hand don’t you? Hold it close to your body, as if it were still in a cast, to protect it? Cradle it like a wounded bird? Doesn’t it feel that way? No one can touch it and the idea of making ‘it’ do anything is ridiculous! How can they ask such a thing? Right?

2) Physical Therapy

Without physical therapy, in my opinion? You will never recover from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, not on your own. You need a coach! I had no health insurance but was actually able to get a scholarship, so wow huh?

The physical therapists asks that you use your wounded bird, that feels like a club at the end of your arm, to do what it had always done before. I write IT because that is what It feels like.. something other than you. It feels like a void at the end of your arm that cannot be asked to turn a door knob, hold a cut, pull open the refrigerator door or even write your name. You are saying to yourself, “Don’t they see?! How can they expect my wounded bird to do anything? I need to protect it!”

The first few times I went to physical therapy I felt I was being asked to do things that the physical therapist did not understand was just too hard for my hand and wrist to do. Did she want to re-break my wrist after all? A list of exercises were given to me to take home and DO several times a day. Opening a cupboard door seemed out of the question even though she asked me to use my hand as I had normally done before. What could she be thinking? would replay in my mind. This club at the end of my arm… no way! I would try though, I would reach with my arm to open a cupboard door and then actually open it with the other hand. It was a good gesture I figured. But, I plotted on and with the help of my physical therapist I gradually saw progress.

3) Doing Your Homework

Your therapist will probably give you a list of exercised to do at home. You must do them! Ya gotta follow a routine, you really do. Morning, noon, and night. There is simply NO putting it off or sliding on this. I tell you this because there is a window of opportunity to get full use back and unless you apply yourself you will miss it. So, NO EXCUSES… NO WAY! At first it is going to feel hopeless. “Why am I doing this?” you may be thinking. In the beginning I could not move my thumb one tiny bit towards my other fingers. Now? I am typing this article. OK? So ya gotta do this no matter how it feels I promise that if you do you will see progress. If you don’t though? You will regret it for the rest of your life… and you don’t have to.

4) Dealing With Depression

Ooof… I understand!

I did not want to get out of bed. I cried constantly and felt I was in mourning for a person that was once me. I knew of course that others in life, have suffered sooo much more than me, have bigger tragedies in their lives, but this was ME! This was MY journey and it had been interrupted and it would never be the same. My wounded bird was also in my heart and I had lost a part of me. Every single time I thought of reaching for something I was reminded of the fact that I was not me anymore. I confess that as an artist, I am a bit of a drama queen, but I have also heard that many people from all walks of life go through the same feelings. You are not alone, know that one day you will be back! When you do get back? You will feel so much better about yourself, because you will have the knowledge that YOU DID IT! YOU SURVIVED! You did what you needed to do and you found a piece of yourself that you did not know was there before. I know.. If you are just at the beginning of this journey you don’t feel that way. Like I said, I could only cry. I was also pretty mean… oh man was I! I felt angry at everyone even though they obviously did not deserve it.

Spend some time outside… feel the wind in your hair (or on your head if you don’t have any, lol). Listen for sounds that are past your own heart. Listen for a single bird and know that it is indeed flying. OK? Hug yourself, you are gonna get through this.

5) Oh the Pain!

It hurts! Dang it really hurts! The more I used my hand the more it hurt, so why use it?

Gads! I had no idea that the pain would last so long. I started going on my computer a lot with just one hand at first.. would not want to try to use my ‘wounded bird’ right? LOL. Later I started using one finger on my pitiful right hand and began making Squidoo lenses. Wikipedia describes Squidoo as a website designed to make it easy for anyone, for free, to set up a single page on a topic he or she knows or cares a lot about. I made almost 100 of them! It was a way of being creative with one hand, what can I say? While doing them though I would actually forget about my pain. I know that sounds crazy. In the beginning I would feel the ache intensely, but as I got my mind absorbed in my Squidoo adventures, I would realize at different points, that I had actually forgotten about it. My body does not do well with pain meds, not even aspirin so forgetting about it was all that I could do. Funny how you can realize all of the sudden that you are feeling pain that you had removed your mind from. Sounds impossible I know.. I just sort of stumbled onto it and it works. I will add though that, “HEY! Don’t dismiss MY PAIN! That makes ya mad doesn’t it? Yeah I get that part too, I really do so I can totally understand what you are thinking as you read this. You are thinking, “Is she NUTS?” Answer to that? Yup! I have to be a little to be an artist after all… lol. My basic point here though is to get yourself and your mind INVOLVED with something, anything to get your mind away from the immediate pain and YOU! Look outside yourself.

6) Recovering

My fingers were always swollen so I cut up pieces of that tape you wrap around your ankle when you have a sprain? I had taped fingers for almost a year, quite the fashion statement huh?! There was something comforting about it though so I did not mind it. It also gave me an excuse to get some sympathy from grocery checkers, who might be impatient, as I tried to write out a check. This was later in my recovery of course, in the beginning I could barely make an X. Soo SEE? There IS Recovery. Recovery takes one single day at a time much like rehab for anything. You will get there I am here to tell you that because I have. Do those exercises and DO use your hand as if it is the same as it ever was. Try to think of it that way, beyond what you feel in your heart and head.

7) Past Recovering

Sometimes when I look back on my experience with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome and consider 7 Tips Toward Recovery that are actually many more than seven… oh my yes, I feel downright proud of me. I realize things about me that I had not known before. By a certain age we have all developed a history, and have survived a few things. Those things that we survive? Those tragedies that visit our doorstep? Those are our wounded birds that are there for us to take up, hold close, mend and then release into the sky to fly again. You can do it.

You may be a wounded bird now, but in time, if you choose, you will fly again.


Source by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

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